I DON'T SUPPORT SUBSIDY REMOVAL - BUHARI
Former Head of State and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate, in last April elections, General Muhammadu Buhari, has declared that he's not in support of fuel subsidy removal.
President Goodluck Jonathan had, on Thursday, while speaking at the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit, in Abuja, commended Buhari for supporting the proposed removal of fuel subsidy.
Jonathan had said: 'That is why I can now appreciate people like General Buhari, who, in terms of politics, was my major competitor. He's the only one person who has come up clearly that the issue of subsidising petroleum products is a fraud. He is not playing politics with the development and future of Nigeria.'
Reacting to Jonathan's comments, through his media aide, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Buhari said his position on removal of fuel subsidy was misrepresented to suit the unpopular economic policy.
The statement said: 'While it is true that General Buhari has dismissed what government officials call 'subsidy' as a fraud, his position has been misrepresented and misapplied by the President to suit the unpopular measure the government wants to take.'
Buhari insists that most of the elements that go into what is called subsidy is the cost of corruption in the opaque business of oil import that has become a cash cow for the alliance of oil importers and government officials bleeding Nigeria white.
He maintained that the sharp practices that characterise importation of petroleum products suggest that the state of our refineries is a deliberate sabotage by powerful forces who are doing illicit business at the expense of the welfare of Nigerians.
He said: 'If this were not so, why is it that the public does not know how much a litre of petrol is bought from the international market and the places we are buying from?'
The CPC presidential candidate advised the government to fix the existing refineries and build new ones, so that Nigerians can enjoy the benefit of being an oil-producing nation.
The statement said: 'As a man who has stood against corruption in both private and public spheres all his life, General Buhari cannot lend his support to a measure that aids corruption and further impoverishes the people, as all the Federal Government wants to do is to jerk up the pump prices.
'His panacea is that government must fix our refineries and facilitate the building of new ones, so that we can refine locally for the benefits of our economy and the people and derive maximum benefits from the 114 additives of oil.
'When this is done, Nigeria can be in league with other OPEC countries, where the cost of fuel is: Saudi Arabia, $0.12 (N18 per litre), Kuwait, $0.79 (N32 per litre), UAE, $0.37 (N57 per litre), Venezuela, $0.05 (N7per litre), Qatar, $0.22 (N34 per litre), Iran, $0.42 (N17 per litre) and Algeria, $0.20 (N31per litre).
'Pending when the above will be done, the Federal Government must get out of fuel importation and let the marketers do their own business of importation in a competitive way that can modulate prices up and down. This is General Buhari's way of rising beyond partisanship to offer suggestion in the overall interest of the country- not by backing oil cabal agenda of impoverishing the people to satisfy the greed of a few.'